When Loving People is Hard
My dearest friends,
There are moments in life that will take your breath away. Beautiful, joyful, terrifying, gut wrenching moments. Some will bring you tears of joy, while others will flow from the deepest parts of your most painful fears. Life seems to be a tapestry woven together by a series of moments. If you’ve ever done any sort of needlework, be it, crocheting, knitting, cross-stitch, sewing, etc, then I want you to imagine with me this picture. The artist may use different colors, textures, or density of thread to create this tapestry. He may use different types of stitches, different knots, different access points etc, but each is directly connected to the last stitch He wove together. He is careful to connect each stitch so that the entire piece of art doesn’t unravel. He knows when to change thread and when to switch stitches. The artist already knows what the tapestry will look like before He even starts.
YOU ARE this tapestry, and GOD IS the artist. There are moments when the thread gets tangled up and in knots, and the artist must stop what He’s doing and un-knot the thread in order for it to be used. There are moments when it takes longer to produce a certain stitch. There are even moments when stitches have to be unraveled and redone in order for them to be perfect.
Your life is a masterpiece by God for this world. It’s a beautiful weaving together of circumstances, people, passions, and moments by a needle of love. It’s meant to be a reflection of the grace, forgiveness, and faith of the artist over the span of a life time. Loving people is hard. People can really hurt you. People are selfish, and sometimes, people are mean. Most of people’s behavior is rooted in their own brokenness, but that’s a blog for a different day. Learning and choosing to put your own self, your own desires, your own emotions second to others is painful at times. But it is what is required. People see the love of the Father when we learn to love others like we do ourselves, where we begin to see people how God see’s us. Sure, I have moments of selfishness, frustration, and weakness. I have moments of fear and moments of doubt. BUT I also have moments of grace, joy, and forgiveness. Moments of extreme faith and moments of strength. Quite honestly, the moments of good often outweigh the moments of bad, but that’s only because I have surrendered myself to the artist, even though I don’t see the whole picture.
I trust that the artist is good. He knows the amount of pressure it’s going to take. He knows the correct thread to connect to me. He knows the complexity of the stitches. He knows the outcome. He sees the knots and He knows how to untie them. He is patient with me. He takes His time with me. He pierces through the emptiness and the unknown and He alone is able to produce art from nothing.
I have learned, and am still learning, that I can love people freely, because I can trust the artist. No thread, No person, No circumstance will become a part of my picture without first passing through His hands. He’s my Father. He loves me. He’s good. He’s trustworthy. He’s gentle. He’s my defender. He’s my creator. He’s my friend. He’s the lover of my soul. He’s my hiding place. He’s my strong tower. He’s beautifully creative and wildly infatuated with who He’s created me to be.
People don’t get to determine my worth or my value. I love them, because He loves me. Their behavior, their actions, or even their words (even if they are unwarranted and unfair at times) don’t have the power to change how I love them, because, I must learn to love like my Father does. There’s much freedom in loving people this way. It doesn’t protect me from hurt. It doesn’t even protect me from heartbreak. But it does produce a strength inside of me to change the world. It does provide a space for grace to see people as people and to stop expecting brokenness to produce fruitfulness when it has not yet been exposed to the Father’s love. It allows me the opportunity to produce an atmosphere where people can have an encounter with the love of GOD and hopefully find healing. But even if they don’t… I must do it anyway. Why? Because, God loves us, even when we don’t love Him. He chose and chooses us, even when we don’t choose Him. Stop allowing the actions of others to cause you to react in a way that is not love. Love is truth. Love changes everything! God is bigger than our circumstances. He’s bigger than our enemies. He’s bigger than the knots in the threads of our lives. Trust His hands. You’re in the palm of it. He’s got you. He’s working this thing out. And your finished tapestry…Man is it beautiful!
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